Louisiana Minor in Possession (MIP) of Alcohol Laws

The State of Louisiana has enacted minor in possession (MIP) laws to discourage underage minors from consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages in public. Public possession is defined as alcoholic beverage consumption in any place that is open to the public, including streets and highways.

Minors Purchasing & Possessing Alcohol

It is against the law in Louisiana for any person under the age of 21 to publicly possess or purchase any type of alcoholic beverage. Anyone who violates this law will be penalized as follows:

  • You will be fined not more than $100 and/or
  • You may be sentenced to not more than 6 months in jail.
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended for 180 days.

The Department of Public Safety and Corrections may issue you a restricted driver’s license if both of the following apply:

  • You are a first-time offender, and
  • You can demonstrate to the court that a hardship would result if you were unable to drive to work of school.

The court will determine what type of restrictions that will be placed upon the offender’s license.

Public possession does not include consumption or possession of an alcoholic beverage:

  • For an established religious event or purpose,
  • When a person under 21 is accompanied by his or her parent, spouse, or legal guardian who is 21 years or older,
  • In a private residence, or
  • When a person under 21 handles, dispenses, sells, or transports an alcoholic beverage during the course of lawful employment by a licensed retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer.

Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 14:93.12, Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 14:93.10

Louisiana Zero Tolerance For Minors: Driving Under the Influence

Any person under the age of 21 who is found with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more is presumed to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. The penalties for an underage driving under the influence conviction are outlined below:

First Offense

  • You will be ordered to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $250, and
  • You will be ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and
  • You will be required to complete a driver improvement educational course.

Second Offense

  • You will be ordered to pay a fine ranging from $150 to $500
  • You may be sentenced to not less than 10 days or more than 3 months in jail.
  • You may be ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.
  • You may be required to complete a driver improvement educational course.

The court can choose to suspend the required jail time under the following conditions:

  • You are placed on probation and serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail, undergo a court-approved substance abuse and participate in a driver improvement program; or
  • You are placed on probation and agree to perform 10 8-hour days of community service, at least half of which will consist of participating in a litter abatement or collection program.

Offenders who are ordered to participate in a substance abuse program will be required to pay the cost of the program and failure to do so will result in their probation being revoked.

Louisiana Revised Statute Section 32:662, Louisiana Revised Statute Section 14:98.1

Purchasing Alcoholic Beverage For Minors

It is against the law for any person, other than a spouse, parent, or legal guardian to purchase an alcoholic beverage for a person who is under 21 years of age. Anyone who violates this law will be subject to the following penalties:

  • You will be fined not more than $500.
  • You will be sentenced to jail for not more than 30 days.
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended for 180 days.

First time offenders may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license. They must prove to the court the suspension of driving pri8vileges would deprive his family of the necessities of life or prevent him from earning a living.

Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 14:93.13

Selling Alcoholic Beverages to Minors

It is illegal for anyone to sell or deliver an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 unless the person is an owner or employee of a licensed establishment and is accepting delivery during the normal course of employment. Anyone who violates this law will be penalized as follows:

  • You will be fined not less than $500 and not more than $1,000.
  • You will be imprisoned for not less than 30 days and not more than 6 months.

The judge can choose to sentence you to either or both of the above penalties.

Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 14:93.11

To learn more about the MIP laws, read Title 14, Criminal Law of the Louisiana Revised Statutes . If you are facing MIP charges in Louisiana, contact a criminal defense lawyer for legal advice.

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